I have paid my bills online for approximately 4 years now. Some of my friends and family still have yet to make the change, and I have tried to list below all of the reasons/objections why they haven’t made the switch yet.
1) They are too lazy.
2) They think their identity will be stolen.
3) They think it will be more difficult to balance their checkbook.
4) They think their bills won’t get paid.
5) Again, they think their identity will be stolen.
Paying your bills online makes sense for a variety of reasons. First, it saves you time and money. It will probably take you about an hour or so of set up time, but after that, paying your monthly bills can literally take you about 10-15 minutes. And, you won’t use anywhere near as many stamps as you used to. Let’s say you have 10 bills that you have to pay every month. At the current price of stamps, that’s a savings of $4.40 per month, or a little over $50 per year.
The biggest concern I would imagine lies with people’s worries of the safety of their identity. Well, you have a better chance of someone stealing your identity by going thru your trash or getting hold of your checkbook than by them accessing your information over the internet. There is simply no data to back up this concern.
And also, I think a lot of people have yet to do so because of the laziness factor. Well, if you think about the time you can save by doing this, you can be even lazier if you want to after you begin paying your bills online.
The process is simple. I would imagine that by now, every financial institution out there is offering free bill pay, so it is a free service. The information you will need is the account numbers and addresses for all of the bills that you pay (you can even set it up to pay people if you need to). It will be a little time-consuming during the set up, but after you get used to it, it is a time saver also. I really only spend about ten minutes per month paying bills.
And yes, you can still balance your checkbook. I still receive my paper statement each month and I still go through all of my entries to make sure everything is right.
The first few months going thru it you will have to allow a few extra days for your payment to arrive, but after awhile, your payments will post 1-2 business days after you enter them. Most banks have online customer service departments as well that can guide you through the whole process and answer any questions you might have.
There are some things that we can do in our lives to save money that require a lot of research, time and effort—this is not one of them. Go ahead and make the switch. You will save yourself some dough and spend a little less time each month doing what we all hate to do—pay bills!
To learn about this and other ways to impact your personal finances, stay tuned for my soon-to-be-published book, "Don't Be A Mule: A Common-sense Guide to Saving More, Spending Less, and Generating Extra Income in Your Everyday life"
Causes David Bakke Supports
Anyone's desire to get out of debt!
I also generously support The Salvation Army and the Vietnam Veterans Association.